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I am feeling nostalgic for the days or rather nights, when we were kissing in cars. Grieving my lost youth suddenly or more likely, facing how the world is changing for better or worse. Does anyone drive down ‘Lovers Lane’ anymore and smooch until the windows fog up. Who has experienced a spotlight being shone through the steamed up windows, only to wind it down and find the local policeman saying ‘time to move on’? Oh the embarrassment of quickly pulling down sweaters and adjusting bra’s and trousers and fleeing as quickly as possible, stalling the engine in the attempted getaway!
What an age of innocence we lived in, in the 1960’s and ‘70’s though we all thought of ourselves as ‘racy’ and overthrowing all the traditional patterns of the 1950’s. As soon as the contraceptive pill insured no more unwanted pregnancies, there was really no reason to abstain from sex and the swinging sixties and hippy days were born. Some of us were too well brought up, so we never got the opportunity of kissing in cars. But some had nowhere to go and no money for clubs, pubs or bars. They couldn’t go home because they lived with their parents, so they kissed in cars. The guys were wondering if they might get lucky that night and get to 2nd base. There was a shared understood protocol on how far the girl was expected to go on a first date, though it was never discussed between them. Woe betide any young woman who went a little further. Her name would be tainted the next day at school as the guys gathered behind the bicycle sheds to smoke and chat.
Remember or imagine no internet or mobile phones, no emails or texting and no phone sex. In fact, sex wasn’t even expected on the first date. Just steaming up those windows of Mini’s and Fords. It wasn’t really so long ago, actually.
“It is more erotic to wonder if you’re about to be kissed than it is to be kissed.”
How the world has changed. There were no dating sites and pornographic websites. Just the excitement of ‘did he call?’ Has he got a car or can he borrow his parent’s car? The rich boys always had first pick as they often had their own cars. Girls never asked boys out in those days. It wasn’t even discussed or thought of. They waited at home, by the phone, willing it to ring, trying to keep their sisters and parents off the phone in case he called, often in vain. No answering machines either.
A kiss is the gift of love. The first kiss is your love already written in the sands of time.
How strange as I write this. We are as far away from teenagers these days as I felt my parents were from me when I was a teenager. Only a few generations have gone by and yet there has been a seismic shift in the way meeting a partner happens. The technology revolution through the internet and mobile phones has transformed our world into something almost unrecognizable. A friend told me recently that they gave a book, as a present to a 3 year old. The first thing she did was to scroll her finger across the page of the book to read the next page and looked puzzled when nothing happened.
Our parents thought The Rolling Stones were dangerous. Now I worry about the addictive effect of millions of free, easily accessed internet porn sites by a tsunami of teenage boys, as young as 10 years old, whose constant exposure is changing their brainwaves. Relationships are no longer learnt through a lens of love, respect, sharing and tenderness. The role models are via getting sexual needs met immediately through misuse of dominant power, abuse and control. Somewhat different from Mum discovering ‘Playboy’ magazine hidden under the bed and quietly smiling and putting it back or throwing it in the trash can.
Now there is ‘hooking up’, sexting and dating via skype etc. Relationships are conducted across the world, with neither distance nor time zones interfering. Even computers are no longer necessary as you can connect on your mobile phone anytime, anywhere to anyone at all, known or unknown.
Despite all of this, some young people are still drawn to romance and flowers, holding hands and stealing secret sweet kisses. Surfing together, watching movies, hanging out with their tribe of friends, they still dream of meeting the love of their life and living a life together forever.
Could it be time to recapture some of that romantic atmosphere in our lives before it dissolves further into blocking your current partner on Facebook to signify the end of the relationship of texting “We’re over.” Or in the future, delivering the message by robot!
It was the anticipation of loving delights rather than instant gratification which heightened the intensity of desire, although sometimes this was often mistaken for everlasting love.
“Breathe me in and be my breath. A kiss will unite our souls as the spirit is carried in our breath.”
Maybe the age of innocence is indeed over. However, all is not lost. The poets has not yet ceased to rhyme, the last crooner is still wooing us through love songs. Movies end with the happy couple sailing off into the sunset and all the world still loves a lover. Yes, kissing in cars may no longer be the modus operandi, but romance will hopefully always shine through the murkier aspects of our so called modern, developed society.